Avoid the Comparison Trap

July 19, 2012

in the generous life

From The Generous Wife archive:

The other day I saw a web site and it was really, really, really good (it was like unbelievably good).  For one moment I thought, “How can I compete with that?”  Thankfully at that moment, God reminded me that I wasn’t supposed to be like them, I was supposed to be like me.  God wants to work through everyone and in a myriad of ways. It’s all good.  We can learn from others, but we’re not supposed to be like them.

I got to thinking about that moment and how that kind of comparison can mentality play out in marriages.  We look at other marriages and tend to see their good stuff and compare it to our bad stuff and then feel like we’ll never have a good marriage.  Or, on the other extreme, we look at others’ failings and see that “we are so much better.”  I think all that comparing is just asking for trouble.  Certainly we can look at other marriages and learn from them (both as good and bad examples), but truly we need to seek God’s direction for our marriages given that we are each unique.  My marriage won’t look entirely like yours and that’s very OK.  Recognize that we are all different people with different gifts living in different seasons of life.

Let God reveal His purposes for your marriage and what that should look like.

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.  Eleanor Roosevelt

Image credit © Design56 | Dreamstime.com

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Making Your Marriage Better ~ my guest article in Praise and Coffee’s Summer Magazine 2012 (do check out the whole issue!)

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I love this simple (but very profound) post from Assume Love ~ Love is Patient and Kind (It doesn’t hurt that she mentions my sweetie.)

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Nice guest article by Rajdeep Paulus ~ Top Ten Hardest Things to Share After Saying “I Do” (from To Love, Honor and Vacuum)

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Ferguson July 19, 2012 at 2:28 am

Needed to hear that. Thank you.

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The Generous Wife July 19, 2012 at 9:18 am

@Lori Ferguson Yeah, I needed to hear that too. I was running through the archives and ran across it. I figured if I needed it, probably someone else did too.

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Julie Sibert July 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

I think Corey Allen (of simplemarriage.net) said once that we have a tendency to compare our insides to others’ outsides… in other words, we look at what difficulties are going on in our marriage and hold it up against what appears as endless bliss in someone else’s marriage (only we don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors).

Personally, I think marriage is a hodge podge of seasons, difficulties, joys, triumphs, confusion, disappointment, joy and so forth… and more often than not, that is the case for every marriage.

Anyway, great post… you are right… all that comparing is just asking for trouble. Takes our eyes off Jesus and takes our eyes off what it means to be humble, to work on our own issues, to walk in grace, etc.

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Julie July 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm

This reminded me of an email I got recently.
It said something like “if the grass looks greener on the other side, better start watering your own lawn”.
So when someone else’s husband or wife or blog! :) looks better than what you have, it’s time to take a look at what you can do to make your own better. I thought that was great advice!

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Pearl July 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Guilty here! I need to remember that when comparing I’m not allowing anyone or their marriage to live up to their potential in HIS eyes, I’m binding them to my perceptions. Thanks for this super post.

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Angela August 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Perfect timing! Thank you!

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